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PREMIERSHIP PREVIEW: KING’S LYNN

IT’S a fresh start for King’s Lynn and one that was very much needed after a turbulent 2023 season full of upheavals both on and off the track.

Having finished adrift at the foot of the Premiership table, and completed the campaign with a team which bore very little resemblance to the one which had started it, the Stars have looked to do something different and have come up with an intriguing line-up.

Only two riders remain from last season, and neither of those were around for the full campaign as Danish star MICHAEL PALM TOFT missed a large chunk of the summer due to injury, whilst ANDERS ROWE joined midway through in the Rising Star berth and put in a number of impressive performances to secure his return for this year.

Elsewhere, the Stars have moved to sign TOBIASZ MUSIELAK as their new No.1 with the Pole making the move to the Adrian Flux Arena after two years with Sheffield, during which time he regularly scored heavily on his new home track as the Tigers recorded a series of wins.

It is perhaps little surprise that there is a healthy former Peterborough contingent in the Lynn team of 2024, which was a logical move when it became clear that the site owners were giving the Panthers no prospect of continuing at the Showground despite the extensive efforts of Keith Chapman and his team.

The Panthers’ 2023 season was revitalised by the signing of VADIM TARASENKO who produced some spectacular racing and should continue to be effective at the Adrian Flux Arena this year.

Also moving across from Alwalton are two other Danes at either end of the experience scale, NIELS-KRISTIAN IVERSEN and BENJAMIN BASSO.

Iversen is back with the club where he has spent the bulk of his time at Premiership level where he was the out-and-out No.1 in the 2010s, whilst Basso is very much a rider on the up and was a huge favourite in his two years with Peterborough.

The Stars have also brought in Polish racer PATRYK WOJDYLO who had a very brief spell with Peterborough last year and in his home matches displayed plenty of ability which could make him a high scorer at reserve in the early weeks.

Another key addition behind the scenes is the return of Rob Lyon as team manager. Lyon led the Stars to their sustained run of success at Championship level in the mid to late 2000s, and after taking a little time out he came back to mastermind Peterborough’s memorable ‘Dad’s Army’ title triumph of 2021.

Lyon has already stated home form is vital to the Stars’ prospects this year, with their record at the AFA requiring a substantial improvement on the three seasons since the pandemic in particular.

They haven’t reached the play-offs since 2018 when they topped the table before missing out in the Grand Final to Poole, but King’s Lynn will have high hopes that their line-up for ’24 can get them right back in the mix again.

KING’S LYNN STARS 2024

Tobiaz Musielak 8.59

Vadim Tarasenko 6.94

Niels-Kristian Iversen 6.64

Benjamin Basso 6.25

Michael Palm Toft 5.13

Patryk Wojdylo 5.00

Anders Rowe RS

*Subject to approval